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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Dr Matthew Tugby

Tugby, Matthew (2013). Causal Nominalism and the One Over Many Problem. Analysis 73(3): 455-462.

Author(s) from Durham


The causal nominalist theory of properties appears at first glance to offer a novel nominalist approach and one that can provide an illuminating response to the one over many problem. I argue, however, that on closer inspection causal ‘nominalism’ collapses into either a version of realism or a mere variant of one of the traditional nominalist approaches. In the case of Whittle’s specific brand of causal nominalism, I suggest it is best thought of as a version of what Armstrong calls ‘ostrich’ nominalism, a view which ultimately refuses to acknowledge the one over many problem rather than provide a solution to it.